Our Blog


May 22, 2019

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps

Each spring, the CBF chooses two days to invite our dedicated volunteers to go to Springfield to join in the CBF’s advocacy work. This year, on April 30th and May 1st, members of the CBF Advocacy Committee and Young Professionals Board traveled down to advocate for access to justice initiatives and learn more about how […]

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May 20, 2019

JEP Reaches Its Teens, Welcomes 13th Cohort

This month, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project brought seven motivated attorneys into the program, starting them on a path towards establishing and operating innovative and affordable law firms. The new JEPers join a network of over 50 alumni and current participants who are still on that path. For the thirteenth time, CBF Executive Director Bob […]

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April 26, 2019

What Do Courts Have to Do with the Affordability of Legal Services?

Quite a lot, as a matter of fact. The fundamental mission of the courts is to deliver justice for all by protecting rights and liberties, upholding the rule of law, and serving as fair and neutral arbiters to resolve disputes. Promoting affordable legal representation is a central part of fulfilling that mission, yet some of the key steps to doing so are too often overlooked by courts today.

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April 25, 2019

Cherry Blossoms and Access to Justice: Your Foundation in D.C.

The CBF was proud to once again join the Illinois State Bar Association in leading a group of dedicated volunteers from Illinois who traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in the American Bar Association’s annual ABA Day in Washington.

Each year, Congress considers legislation and budget issues
that impact access to justice, the court system, and the legal profession.
That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and across Illinois, engage with our members of Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents.

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April 24, 2019

Illinois JusticeCorps Seeking Fellowship Applications

Illinois JusticeCorps is looking for applicants for full-time fellowship positions for the upcoming program year, August 2019 through August 2020.

Illinois JusticeCorps is an innovative AmeriCorps program through which college students and recent graduates provide procedural and other neutral assistance in the courts. Illinois JusticeCorps recruits, trains and provides the necessary support for these guides to make courts across Illinois more welcoming and less intimidating for people without lawyers.

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March 27, 2019

Uber, Taxis and the Legal Market

Take a trip down bad memory lane to about ten years ago when you needed to get a cab but were not in a place where taxis tend to be plentiful on the street. Remember what that was like?

Hold that thought for a moment, and now think of what it is like today for someone who is looking for a lawyer and doesn’t know where to turn. While it is sure to get most lawyers upset to be compared to the taxi industry, the similarities in these two market failures are striking. We can write a different script for what happens in the legal market but need to start now.

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February 27, 2019

What Are We Selling?

It seems a simple question to ask, but one we do not think enough about in law and too often answer incorrectly. Getting that answer right is the first essential step towards carrying out my New
Year’s Resolution for 2019
for the legal profession to tackle our affordability problem for everyday people.

Two recent commentaries in the New York Times and the Atlantic challenge us to re-examine our profession’s longstanding assumptions on this question, and offer a good jumping off point for discussion.

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February 27, 2019

Leading the Way to a Justice System that Works for Everyone

Justice is a simple concept. Even very young children understand the basic concept of fairness. But getting to justice can be anything but simple. Ensuring that everyone has equal access to the justice system is a fight that happens on many fronts—from the courts to the pro bono and legal aid organizations, law firms and […]

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February 26, 2019

Limited Scope. (Almost Boundless Opportunity)

The American Bar Association recently featured an article touting the potential “win-win” benefits of limited scope representation in the January/February 2019 issue of its GPSolo magazine. The article was penned by CBF Director of Innovation & Training Jessica Bednarz and CBF Director of Pro Bono & Court Advocacy Samira Nazem.  They highlight that the […]

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February 7, 2019

Gaining Hope and Healing Thanks to Legal Aid

Each year, Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (DVLC) helps hundreds of domestic violence survivors break the cycle of domestic violence, helping survivors escape the isolation of abuse and regain control of their lives. Edith is one of the many survivors who show up at DVLC’s office every day seeking to keep themselves and their children safe.

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